Proof that tort reform works
"Because of tort reform, malpractice lawsuits no longer can be counted on to police the profession.

In Harris County, the numbers of medical malpractice lawsuits have dropped precipitously since October 2003, when limits on non-economic damages (awards for "pain and suffering") went into effect.

For the previous eight years, the number of malpractice suits averaged in the high 400s. In 2003, they spiked ...


Kaiser bans painkiller Bextra
"It is the first time the nation's largest HMO has refused to dispense a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration."

I wonder when Celebrex will be next.

Chris Rangel opines on how marketing worsened the Vioxx debacle
However, because of the heavy direct to consumer advertising by Pfizer and Merck a huge number of patients came to their doctors asking for these drugs even if they needed only short term treatment for aches and pains and had no history of and no increased risks for gastrointestinal side effects. If anything, direct to consumer advertising proved that it ...


Blogborygmi talks about the computer glitch that caused the urology match to be re-run
Urology happens to be one of the harder specialties to match in. I wonder how many dreams were shattered by this.

CodeBlueBlog calls Canadian health care consumers morons
". . . when people are not responsible for their health care they become health care morons. You see, if someone else pays the bills then one doesn't comparison shop, and one doesn't compare results. One doesn't get educated. You stay stupid."

Bill Frist writes about a utopian future of medicine in ten years
"I would like you to meet a patient from the year 2015. He lives in a world in which years ago America's leaders made tough but wise decisions. They built on the best aspects of American health care and unleashed the creative power of the competitively driven marketplace. These changes resulted in dramatic improvements to the U.S. ...



I'll be away from blogging for a few days. Have a nice weekend everyone!

The New Yorker writes about Merck and Vioxx
"While that kind of weighing of risk and benefit may be medically rational, in the legal arena itÂ’s poison." (via

Day 4 of the Susanna Martens trial brings out an expert witness for the plaintiff
This case was initially discussed here. Some highlights from today's proceedings:

An expert witness testified today that Susanna Martens and her baby would have survived if Martens were given antibiotics at her initial doctor visit on March 14, 2000.

Martens and her unborn baby died the next day.

Dr. Sebastian ...


AstraZeneca sued over Nexium
"The lawsuit, filed in Massachusetts Superior Court, alleges that AstraZeneca's deceptive marketing persuaded patients to switch from Prilosec, whose patent was about to expire, to Nexium, a new, nearly identical drug."

I'm happy to see people rising up against pharmaceutical advertising. Nexium is one of the worst offenders of deceptive advertising.

Man Declared Dead Found Alive In Morgue
"A medical examiner was studying injuries to Larry D. Green's body in a morgue when he noticed Mr. Green was breathing."

Scary stuff.

More on athletes putting pressure on the medical staff
"Sports doctors are often asked to compromise their care so athletes can return to their sport, say researchers."

"Chest pains at 3 a.m.? Call a lawyer."
The tort reform battle in South Carolina is starting to get ugly.

A 54-year-old man who routinely complained of fake chest pains to avoid paying the tab for restaurant meals has been sentenced

"Already, it costs more than $800 million, by some estimates, to develop a new drug. That's as much as it cost to send robot probes to Mars."

Terrell Owens would be defined as a non-compliant patient

The following was said by the Philadelphia Eagles' trainer:

“We understand Dr. Myerson’s point of view. It’s just that our risk-reward is different than his risk-reward,” Burkholder said. “He has great risk in clearing Terrell to play and no reward. We think there’s some risk and we think there’s great reward, so right now we’re going to progress ...


Medpundit is switching to an EMR
Our practice also recently switched over to an EMR, using the A4 Healthmatics EMR. We are a 5-physician group and the transition was not without its growing pains. It is certainly true that some will be more comfortable using a computer than others. At first, the workflow was slowed - appointment times were doubled, with 15 minute appointments going to ...


The BBC writes an article detailing the effects of sustained solitary confinement

Is it ethical for physicians to see pharmaceutical sales representatives?

A doctor warns against overordering lab tests
"Make no mistake; patients should take charge of their own health. But a little knowledge without context or clinical judgment can cause a lot of trouble to patients and doctors alike. Unnecessary anxiety and wasted time and money-chasing wild goose lab results may not be a good thing. Be careful, doctor. Don't order lab tests that you don't really need. You're asking for ...


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